The Watergate Class Of 1974: How They Arrived In Congress, How They Left

The 40th anniversary of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in Washington — the beginning of a wide-ranging scandal known as Watergate — was widely observed (and, by some, celebrated) on Sunday in a slew of articles about what it really meant.

Initially the nation was split on Nixon and the Watergate scandal, but by the summer of '74 there was overwhelming sentiment for him to resign.

hide captionInitially the nation was split on Nixon and the Watergate scandal, but by the summer of '74 there was overwhelming sentiment for him to resign.

Ken Rudin collection

Of course, the Watergate scandal brought about the first resignation of a president in history. It led to changes in campaign finance laws and the congressional seniority system. We can talk about whether any of that ultimately made a difference. But it also brought in 91 new members of the House in the November elections, an overwhelming number being Democrats. That Congress wreaked havoc on many of President Ford's domestic priorities.

But who were those 91? Here's the list of the Class of '74, the district they were first elected to, how they came to Congress and why they left. For the record, there are five members from that Class of '74 who are still in Congress: Reps. George Miller and Henry Waxman, both California Democrats, and three who have since moved from the House to the Senate: Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.). The list is alphabetical by state:

Buttons from 4 of the 5 original members of the Class of '74 who still serve in Congress.  (Will someone please tell Henry Waxman to make a button?)

hide captionButtons from 4 of the 5 original members of the Class of '74 who still serve in Congress. (Will someone please tell Henry Waxman to make a button?)

Ken Rudin collection

CA 07 — George Miller (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful Dem gov. candidate Jerry Waldie.

Left Congress: Still in office. Elected to his 19th term in 2010 with 68 percent of the vote.

CA 13 — Norm Mineta (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Charles Gubser.

Left Congress: 1995, resigned to work for a defense contractor.

CA 17 — John Krebs (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Bob Mathias.

Left Congress: 1978, defeated by Republican Charles Pashayan.

CA 24 — Henry Waxman (D)

Election: New district.

Left Congress: Still in office. Elected to his 19th term in 2010 with 65 percent of the vote.

CA 34 — Mark Hannaford (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Craig Hosmer.

Left Congress: 1978, lost to Republican Dan Lungren.

CA 35 — Jim Lloyd (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Vic Veysey.

Left Congress: 1980, lost to Republican David Dreier.

CA 38 — Jerry Patterson (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Richard Hanna.

Left Congress: 1984, lost to Republican Bob Dornan.

CO 02 — Tim Wirth (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Donald Brotzman.

Left Congress: 1992. He was elected to the Senate in 1986 and retired after one term.

CT 02 — Chris Dodd (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful GOP gov. candidate Robert Steele.

Left Congress: 2010. He was elected to the Senate in 1980 and retired after five terms.

CT 06 — Toby Moffett (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by victorious Dem gov. candidate Ella Grasso.

Left Congress: 1982. Challenged Republican Sen. Lowell Weicker and lost.

FL 05 — Richard Kelly (R)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful Dem Senate candidate William Gunter.

Left Congress: 1980, lost GOP primary to Bill McCollum.

GA 04 — Elliott Levitas (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Ben Blackburn.

Left Congress: 1984, lost to Republican Pat Swindall.

GA 07 — Larry McDonald (D)

Election: Defeated Rep. John Davis in Dem primary.

Left Congress: 1983, killed when the Korean airliner he was aboard was shot down by the Soviet Union.

ID 02 — George Hansen (R)

Election: Defeated Rep. Orval Hansen in GOP primary (previously served 1965-68).

Left Congress: 1984, lost to Democrat Richard Stallings.

IL 03 — Marty Russo (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Robert Hanrahan.

Left Congress: 1992, lost Democratic primary to fellow Dem incumbent William Lipinski.

IL 06 — Henry Hyde (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Harold Collier.

Left Congress: 2006, retired.

IL 10 — Abner Mikva (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Samuel Young (previously served 1957-66, 1969-72).

Left Congress: 1979, resigned to accept appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

IL 15 — Tim Lee Hall (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Leslie Arends.

Left Congress: 1976, lost to Republican Tom Corcoran.

IL 24 — Paul Simon (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Kenneth Gray.

Left Congress: 1996. He was elected to the Senate in 1984 and retired after two terms.

IN 02 — Floyd Fithian (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Earl Landgrebe.

Left Congress: 1982. Challenged Republican Sen. Dick Lugar and lost.

IN 06 — David Evans (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. William Bray.

Left Congress: 1982, lost Democratic primary to fellow Dem incumbent Andy Jacobs.

IN 08 — Philip Hayes (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Roger Zion.

Left Congress: 1976. Challenged Democratic Sen. Vance Hartke in Dem primary and lost.

IN 10 — Phil Sharp (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. David Dennis.

Left Congress: 1994, retired.

IN 11 — Andy Jacobs (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. William Hudnut (previously served 1965-72).

Left Congress: 1996, retired.

IA 02 — Michael Blouin (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by victorious Dem Senate candidate John Culver.

Left Congress: 1978, lost to Republican Tom Tauke.

IA 03 — Charles Grassley (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican H.R. Gross.

Left Congress: Still in office. Elected to the Senate in 1980, and has been re-elected five times, most recently with 64 percent in 2010.

IA 05 — Tom Harkin (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. William Scherle.

Left Congress: Still in office. Elected to the Senate in 1984, and has been re-elected four times, most recently with 63 percent in 2008.

IA 06 — Berkley Bedell (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Wiley Mayne.

Left Congress: 1986, retired.

KS 02 — Martha Keys (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful Dem Senate candidate Bill Roy.

Left Congress: 1978, lost to Republican Jim Jeffries.

KY 01 — Carroll Hubbard (D)

Election: Defeated Rep. Frank Stubblefield in Dem primary.

Left Congress: 1992, lost Democratic primary to Tom Barlow.

ME 01 — David Emery (R)

Election: Defeated Dem Rep. Peter Kyros.

Left Congress: 1982. Challenged Democratic Sen. George Mitchell and lost.

MD 05 — Gladys Noon Spellman (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful GOP gov. candidate Larry Hogan.

Left Congress: 1981. House declared her seat vacant after she failed to recover from a heart attack-induced coma.

MA 03 — Joseph Early (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Harold Donohue.

Left Congress: 1992, lost to Republican Peter Blute.

MA 05 — Paul Tsongas (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Paul Cronin.

Left Congress: 1984. Elected to the Senate in 1978 and retired after one term.

MI 06 — Bob Carr (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Charles Chamberlain.

Left Congress: 1994, lost Senate race to Republican Spencer Abraham.

MI 17 — William Brodhead (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Martha Griffiths.

Left Congress: 1982, retired.

MI 18 — Jim Blanchard (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Robert Huber.

Left Congress: 1982, elected governor.

MN 02 — Tom Hagedorn (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Ancher Nelsen.

Left Congress: 1982, lost to Democrat Tim Penny.

MN 06 — Richard Nolan (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican John Zwach.

Left Congress: 1980, retired.

MN 08 — Jim Oberstar (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat John Blatnik.

Left Congress: 2010, lost to Republican Chip Cravaack.

MT 01 — Max Baucus (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Richard Shoup.

Left Congress: Still in office. Elected to the Senate in 1978 and re-elected five times, most recently with 73 percent in 2008.

NH 01 — Norm D'Amours (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful GOP Senate candidate Louie Wyman.

Left Congress: 1984. Challenged Republican Sen. Gordon Humphrey and lost.

NE 03 — Virginia Smith (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Dave Martin.

Left Congress: 1990, retired.

NV At Large — Jim Santini (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. David Towell.

Left Congress: 1982. Challenged Democratic Sen. Howard Cannon in the Dem primary and lost.

NJ 01 — Jim Florio (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. John Hunt.

Left Congress: 1989, elected governor.

NJ 02 — William Hughes (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Charles Sandman.

Left Congress: 1994, retired.

NJ 05 — Millicent Fenwick (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Peter H.B. Frelinghuysen.

Left Congress: 1982, lost Senate race to Democrat Frank Lautenberg.

NJ 07 — Andy Maguire (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. William Widnall.

Left Congress: 1980, lost to Republican Marge Roukema.

NJ 13 — Helen Meyner (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Joseph Maraziti.

Left Congress: 1978, lost to Republican Jim Courter.

NY 02 — Tom Downey (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. James Grover.

Left Congress: 1992, lost to Republican Rick Lazio.

NY 03 — Jerome Ambro (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Angelo Roncallo.

Left Congress: 1980, lost to Republican Gregory Carman.

NY 11 — James Scheuer (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Frank Brasco (previously served 1965-72).

Left Congress: 1992, retired.

NY 13 — Stephen Solarz (D)

Election: Defeated Rep. Bert Podell in Dem primary.

Left Congress: 1992, lost Democratic primary to Nydia Velazquez.

NY 14 — Fred Richmond (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat John Rooney.

Left Congress: 1982, resigned.

NY 15 — Leo Zeferetti (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by victorious Dem gov. candidate Hugh Carey.

Left Congress: 1982, lost to Republican (and fellow incumbent) Guy Molinari.

NY 24 — Richard Ottinger (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful Dem gov. candidate Ogden Reid (previously served 1965-70).

Left Congress: 1984, retired.

NY 27 — Matt McHugh (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Howard Robison.

Left Congress: 1992, retired.

NY 29 — Ned Pattison (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Carleton King.

Left Congress: 1978, lost to Gerald Solomon.

NY 36 — John LaFalce (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Henry Smith III.

Left Congress: 2002, retired.

NY 37 — Henry Nowak (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Thaddeus Dulski.

Left Congress: 1992, retired.

NC 05 — Stephen Neal (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Wilmer Mizell.

Left Congress: 1994, retired.

NC 08 — Bill Hefner (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Earl Ruth.

Left Congress: 1998, retired.

OH 01 — Bill Gradison (R)

Election: Defeated Dem Rep. Thomas Luken.

Left Congress: 1993, resigned to become president of the Health Insurance Association of America.

OH 08 — Tom Kindness (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Walter Powell.

Left Congress: 1986. Challenged Democratic Sen. John Glenn and lost.

OH 23 — Ron Mottl (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican William Minshall.

Left Congress: 1982, lost Democratic primary to Edward Feighan.

OK 02 — Ted Risenhoover (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful Dem gov. candidate Clem Rogers McSpadden.

Left Congress: 1978, lost Democratic primary to Mike Synar.

OK 06 — Glenn English (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. John Happy Camp.

Left Congress: 1994, resigned to head up rural electric lobbying association.

OR 01 — Les AuCoin (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican Wendell Wyatt.

Left Congress: 1992. Challenged Republican Sen. Bob Packwood and lost.

OR 03 — Bob Duncan (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Edith Green (previously served 1963-66).

Left Congress: 1980, lost Democratic primary to Ron Wyden.

OR 04 — James Weaver (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. John Dellenback.

Left Congress: 1986, retired.

PA 05 — Richard Schulze (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican John Ware.

Left Congress: 1992, retired.

PA 07 — Bob Edgar (D)

Election: Won seat of Republican Lawrence Williams, who was defeated in GOP primary.

Left Congress: 1986. Challenged Republican Sen. Arlen Specter and lost.

PA 19 — William Goodling (R)

Election: Won seat of retiring Republican George Goodling, his father.

Left Congress: 2000, retired.

PA 25 — Gary Myers (R)

Election: Defeated Dem Rep. Frank Clark.

Left Congress: 1978, retired.

RI 02 — Edward Beard (D)

Election: Defeated Rep. Robert Tiernan in Democratic primary.

Left Congress: 1980, lost to Republican Claudine Schneider.

SC 03 — Butler Derrick (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful Dem gov. candidate William Jennings Bryan Dorn.

Left Congress: 1994, retired.

SC 05 — Kenneth Holland (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Tom Gettys.

Left Congress: 1982, retired.

SC 06 — John Jenrette (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Edward Young.

Left Congress: 1980, lost to Republican John Napier.

SD 01 — Larry Pressler (R)

Election: Defeated Dem Rep. Frank Denholm.

Left Congress: 1996. Elected to the Senate in 1978, he was defeated by Tim Johnson in his bid for fourth term.

TN 03 — Marilyn Lloyd (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. LaMar Baker.

Left Congress: 1994, retired.

TN 08 — Harold Ford (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Kuykendall.

Left Congress: 1996, retired.

TX 13 — Jack Hightower (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Robert Price.

Left Congress: 1984, lost to Republican Beau Boulter.

TX 21 — Robert Krueger (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat O.C. Fisher.

Left Congress: 1978. Challenged Republican Sen. John Tower and lost.

UT 02 — Allan Howe (D)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful Dem Senate candidate Wayne Owens.

Left Congress: 1976, lost to Republican Dan Marriott.

VA 08 — Herb Harris (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Stan Parris.

Left Congress: 1980, lost rematch to Parris.

VA 10 — Joseph Fisher (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Joel Broyhill.

Left Congress: 1980, lost to Republican Frank Wolf.

VT At Large — Jim Jeffords (R)

Election: Won seat vacated by unsuccessful GOP Senate candidate Richard Mallary.

Left Congress: 2006. Elected to the Senate in 1988, he was re-elected twice and retired.

WA 03 — Don Bonker (D)

Election: Won seat of retiring Democrat Julia Butler Hansen.

Left Congress: 1988, lost Democratic Senate primary to Mike Lowry.

WI 03 — Alvin Baldus (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Vern Thomson.

Left Congress: 1980, lost to Republican Steve Gunderson.

WI 08 — Robert Cornell (D)

Election: Defeated GOP Rep. Harold Froehlich.

Left Congress: 1978, lost to Republican Toby Roth.

WI 09 — Bob Kasten (R)

Election: Defeated Rep. Glenn Davis in Republican primary.

Left Congress: 1992. Elected to the Senate in 1980, he was defeated by Russ Feingold in his bid for a third term.

Political Updates. I post periodic political updates during the week on Twitter. You can follow me at @kenrudin.

Podcast. Alas, I was ill last week and missed my usual Wednesday date with Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation. I was somewhat better the next day for a new episode of the weekly podcast, "It's All Politics." It's hosted by my partner-in-crime, Ron Elving, and me. You can listen to it here:

last week's podcast

And Don't Forget ScuttleButton. ScuttleButton, America's favorite waste-of-time button puzzle, can usually be found in this spot every Monday or Tuesday. A randomly-selected winner will be announced every Wednesday during the Political Junkie segment on NPR's Talk of the Nation. You still have time to submit your answer to last week's contest, which you can see here. Not only is there incredible joy in deciphering the answer, but the winner gets a TOTN t-shirt!

Previous winner: Patrick Hirigoyen of St. Paul, Minn.

ON THE CALENDAR:

June 26 — Congressional primaries in Colorado, New York, Oklahoma and Utah. Senate primary to watch: Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) vs. challenger Dan Liljenquist. House primary to watch: Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) vs. challenger Adriano Espaillat.

June 27 — TOTN Political Junkie segment from Aspen, Colo.

July 31 — Georgia primary. Texas runoff primary.

Aug. 2 — Tennessee primary.

Aug. 7 — Primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.

Aug. 11 — Hawaii primary.

Aug. 14 — Primaries in Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Aug. 21 — Wyoming primary.

Aug. 27-30 — Republican National Convention, Tampa, Fla.

Aug. 28 — Primaries in Alaska, Arizona and Vermont.

Mailing list. To receive a weekly email alert about the new column and ScuttleButton puzzle, contact me at politicaljunkie@npr.org.

******* Don't Forget: If you are sending in a question to be used in this column, please include your city and state. *********

This day in political history: The Senate rejects the nomination of Lewis Strauss as Secretary of Commerce, the first time a Cabinet nominee has been rejected since 1925. The vote is 46 in favor, 49 opposed. Two Republicans — Margaret Chase Smith of Maine and William Langer of N.D. — broke with President Eisenhower and voted no. (Democrats voted 15 yes, 47 no.) Strauss had been serving as Commerce secretary via a recess appointment since November 1958. Opponents said Strauss had a history of refusing to cooperate with Congress, going back to the days when he was chair of the Atomic Energy Commission. Supporters said the "no" vote was designed to embarrass the president. All four leading potential Democratic presidential candidates — Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and Stuart Symington — voted to defeat the nomination (June 19, 1959).

Got a question? Ask Ken Rudin: politicaljunkie@npr.org

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: